Does shaved hair grow back thicker?
When you’ve decided to get rid of unwanted hair in a hurry – be it on your face, arms or other body parts – you’ve definitely reached for a razor, hesitating between waxing or using depilatory cream instead of shaving. You will hesitate! Because you’ve always been told that shaving your hair will make it thicker while you don’t want extra hair to grow.
As it turns out, it’s a myth that shaving will make your hair thicker or grow faster. But what logic should be behind this thinking!
When hair is cut short, it can become resistant because the shorter length increases its resistance, explains dermatologist Dr. Taylor Bullock. These hairs can also become sharp and spiky due to the rough, sharp edges from a recent cut.
How does shaving affect your hair?
Let’s start with an example: Think of a dandelion growing in your yard.
If you cut the dandelion with scissors or run over it with a lawnmower, it will appear to be gone for now. However, below the surface of the soil, the roots are intact and a new stem will soon grow. When the dandelion makes its way above the ground, it will be visible again.
The same is true for shaving with a razor. Every hair on your body grows from its follicle, a tube-like structure that surrounds the root and strand. In this analogy, each hair is a dandelion whose “stem” you see growing out of your skin. This is your hair shaft and is made up of dead skin cells.
When you shave, you cut your hair from the shaft – but this does not affect the actual hair root, which is just below the surface of the skin, like the root of a dandelion.
“After shaving, you may feel like your hair is thicker and darker,” says Dr. Bullock, “but that’s actually because the hair shaft has changed in size and length, not because shaving has changed the hair follicles!”
In other words, when the shaved hair first starts growing back, it may look thicker or darker than before – but it`s not so.
Dr. Bullock explains: “After straightening, you’ll generally see darker, thicker bases of hair shafts instead of the thinner, often lighter ends of longer hairs.” However, once the hair grows longer, it returns to its original soft texture.
How long does it take for hair to grow back?
Shaving does not affect how quickly your hair grows back. But after that, how long does it take to regrow? On average, hair on the head and legs grows about half an inch to an inch per month. But the speed of their regrowth also depends on your body.
“The length of time it takes for your hair to go through the stubble-like stage depends on how fast your hair grows and where you shave,” says Dr. Bullock. This stage will be much shorter in places where hair grows quickly, such as the scalp, compared to eyebrows or thighs.
This means that the hair on your freshly shaved head will grow back fairly quickly (which is annoying for trimming purposes!), while the hair on the rest of your body may not grow back very quickly.
Shaving tips for smoother skin
There are many things you can do to get a better, smoother shave, including:
• Exfoliate first.
• Wash with cool water.
• Use shaving cream or gel.
But when it comes to combating the sharpness of newly grown hair after shaving, similar to stubble, it’s moisturizing your skin. She adds that the best time to apply moisturizer is right after you shower, when your skin is most able to absorb it.
Permanent hair removal options
Shaving has many benefits: it’s quick, easy, cheap, and you can do it at home. But because you’re cutting your hair from the shaft rather than the root, shaved hair grows back faster than hair that’s removed by waxing.
But a long-term option for hair removal, especially if you have a lot of unwanted hair that tends to regrow very quickly, is laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal can be expensive, but when you add up the time and money you spend on other hair removal methods, it’s often the best option, says Dr. Bullock. Laser hair removal requires 5 to 8 treatment sessions, after which it will be necessary to perform several sessions to recharge and maintain the result. Whichever method you choose, just know that nothing you do will make your hair grow thicker, darker, or even faster
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